Mitt Romney: Tesla Motors is a 'Loser'

Anita Li
Mitt Romney: Tesla Motors is a 'Loser'
tesla model s

Mitt Romney labelled electric car maker Tesla Motors a "loser" during Wednesday night's U.S. presidential debate.

[More from Mashable: Broadcom Teaches Kids to Program in an Hour Using Raspberry Pi]

The Republican candidate took a jab at Tesla while discussing tax breaks to energy companies. He criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for providing "$90 billion in breaks to the green energy world."

"Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives," Romney said. "You put $90 billion -- like 50 years' worth of breaks -- into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don't just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers."

[More from Mashable: 5 Online Resources for Fact Checking the Presidential Debates]

While Solyndra and Ener1 went bankrupt and Fisker is struggling financially, Tesla has shown signs of recovery.

The company is currently paying back $465 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy.

SEE ALSO: Tesla’s Superchargers Let Model S Owners Travel Long Distances for Free

In a Wednesday blog post, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla will start repaying its federal loans early.

"I am happy to announce that we will initiating an advance payment today to prefund the principal payment that is due in March 2013."

Musk also emphasized that Tesla has "always" made its payments to the Department of Energy on time, and has "never asked to delay replayment ever."

Buzz around the company's new Model S electric sedan has also largely been positive.

Musk commented in June about the impact that Romney would have on the electric car market if he wins November's presidential election.

"I'm not sure he's really against them [electric cars]. He not be as for them as, say, President Obama is," he said. "I think Romney would have a minor impact; I think President Obama would probably have a more positive impact."

This story originally published on Mashable here.